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Ochratoxigenic Black Species of Aspergilli in Grape Fruits of Northern Italy Identified by an Improved PCR-RFLP Procedure

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Author(s): Davide Spadaro | Subban Patharajan | Alessia Lorè | Angelo Garibaldi | Maria Lodovica Gullino

Journal: Toxins
ISSN 2072-6651

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 42;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Aspergillus section Nigri | grapes | ochratoxin A | ribosomal DNA | wine

ABSTRACT
A collection of 356 isolates of Aspergillus spp. collected during 2006 and 2007 from grapevines in northern Italy were identified through Internal Transcribed Spacer based Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (ITS-RFLP) and tested for ochratoxin A (OTA) production. Restriction endonuclease digestion of the ITS products using the endonucleases HhaI, HinfI and RsaI, distinguished five different RFLPs. From each pattern, three samples were sequenced and the nucleotide sequences showed different species corresponding to Aspergillus niger, A. carbonarius, A. tubingensis, A. japonicus and A. aculeatus. By comparing the sequences of the ITS regions, also the uniseriate species A. japonicus and A. aculeatus could be differentiated by HinfI digestion of the ITS products. Among the aspergilli, A. niger was the major species associated with grapes during 2006 (57.4%), while A. carbonarius was the major species during 2007 (46.6%). All the strains of Aspergillus were tested for their ability to produce OTA on Yeast extract sucrose medium (YES), as it was tested as an optimal substrate for the evaluation of OTA production by black aspergilli. Out of 356 isolates, 63 (17.7%) isolates produced OTA ranging from 0.05 to 3.0 µg mL−1. Most of the ochratoxigenic isolates were A. carbonarius (46) in both years, but also some strains of A. tubingensis (11) and A. japonicus (6) produced lower amounts of OTA.
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